How to become an SEO professional 

A career in SEO (search engine optimisation) certainly is a good career choice nowadays given the continued increase in the need for SEO experts.   Besides being in demand, a career in SEO is never boring as there’s always more to learn and new digital technologies coming into play.

There’s no doubt that the need for SEO professionals will increase as proper search engine optimisation (SEO) is now a necessity for any business and no longer a ‘nice-to-have’.

When opting for a career in SEO it’s important to always stay ahead of curve and to continually upskill yourself as this is a profession where you can quickly get left behind if you don’t keep on top of the latest technological advances and developments in SEO.

It’s an absolute must for any SEO professional to complete a SEO and digital marketing course and to complete refresher courses often as the craft of SEO is constantly changing and evolving.

What does a career in SEO involve?

A successful career in SEO often requires skill sets from a number of backgrounds, such as good interpersonal skills, writing skills, advertising knowledge and even some design skills. It’s also not uncommon for the requirement of programming skills and may even lean more towards a technical background. 

Needless to say, an SEO professional has to be an ‘all-rounder’ and not only show a keen understanding of how search engines work but to also specialise in other qualities that are needed in search engine optimisation.

Therefore, a career in SEO will involve, but is not limited to, the following areas of expertise:

  • Website traffic analysis
  • Website architecture
  • Keyword research and optimal selection
  • Keyword density and prominence
  • Split testing and KPI’s
  • On and off page optimisation
  • Critical thinking
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Technical and programming 
  • Research
  • Backlink building
  • Conversion rate analysis
  • Marketing know-how

Getting started 

If you’re thinking of becoming an SEO professional you most probably already have some experience in digital marketing and a keen interest in all things ‘digital’.  However, to become a real SEO expert takes time.  

It’s a great idea to familiarise yourself in the massive area of SEO and this is a good starting point is to fully understand the real meaning of all things ‘SEO’, in other words, read all the latest blogs on search engine optimisation and make sure you stay informed.  Try out some of the many available SEO tools and get to know some of the basic SEO marketing ideas. Getting a firm understanding of all the SEO basics will give you a great foundation before completing a digital marketing and SEO course.

Traits of an SEO professional

Once you’ve gotten to grips with the SEO basics, it’s time to learn the necessary traits of an SEO professional and where you will fit in best.  There’s a saying that most digital marketing individuals should learn basic code and most coding specialist should learn some marketing skills – this way you’ll be well on your way to becoming an SEO professional.  

Both aspects of digital marketing, i.e., technical and marketing, are extremely important to making it in the complex and ever-changing world of SEO.   The technical abilities include, but are not limited to, indexing and crawlability of sites. The marketing abilities include creating great content, structuring a website that is user-friendly and linking.  So, understanding both sides of being an SEO professional is an absolute must.

Tips for SEO beginners

The world of SEO can seem daunting at first but remember it’s important to get started and there are a few practical tips for SEO beginners, such as understanding how users search, keep content interesting and read the latest blogs on SEO.

Stay updated on all things ‘SEO’

Once you’ve decided to become an SEO professional and you’ve completed a digital marketing and SEO course, and perhaps even have a few years’ experience under your belt, it’s vital that you stay up to date with new SEO developments.  

The world of SEO is dynamic and constantly evolving – there’s always a new ‘idea’ or ‘development’ happening.  For example, staying up to date on the latest search engine algorithms is important.

However, despite the many changes in SEO, it’s fundamentals are vital to learn as they have stayed the same and are unlikely to change.